About Last Night 37: Flames start on time, but leave early in OT loss to Habs

As it’s been the past few games, the Flames got out to a blazing start in the first period. They were rewarded with two goals, and headed to the first intermission up 2-0. However, the Canadiens completely took over from that point on, coming back from 2-0 and 3-2 down before finally sealing the deal in overtime. The Flames pick up a much needed point, but they’re now winless in three straight. Has a new streak begun?

Statistical Breakdown

5v5 SVACF%SCF%HDCF%xGF%
46.0 44.0 46.8 42.6
54.0 56.0 53.2 57.4

Team Stats

5v5 Player Stats

Calgary Flames
  • Michael Frolik led the way for the Flames with 65.4% CF.
  • Frolik, Mikael Backlund, Sean Monahan, and Sam Bennett all finished at 100.0% HDCF.
  • Oliver Kylington was a game low 21.7% CF.
Montreal Canadiens
  • Nine Canadiens finished at or above 60.0% CF, Nick Cousins leading the way with 69.0% CF.
  • Former Flame Brett Kulak was a team low 34.3% CF.
  • Only five Canadiens finished below 50.0% SCF, and only five finished below 50.0% HDCF.
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick

Thoughts on the Game

Let’s be honest: the Flames really didn’t deserve to win the game last night. In fact, they were lucky to escape with one point, which is a bit disappointing to say after they had such an incredible first period that saw them jump out to a 2-0 lead.

They even battled back after Montreal tied it to go up 3-2 in the third, but the Canadiens were too fast and too relentless for the Flames to handle and they were rewarded with two points at the end of the day.

I’m not sure what happened, but under Geoff Ward, it looks like the Flames have really focused on starting on time, and finishing well as well. It’s that middle period that has been a downright disaster for a few games now, and it’s really hurting the team’s chances to win. Any momentum gained from huge firsts is completely negated by their awful seconds, and then their opponent is rolling heading into the third. It’s not a good recipe and they need to do better in this area.

Sad to say it but David Rittich probably should have had three of the four goals he gave up last night. Not laying the blame at his feet though, because the whole team was inconsistent the entire night and needed to be better, but he had one of his rougher games of the year. He’s been the team’s best player the whole season though so he does get a pass in my books. He’s bailed out the skaters numerous times, and last night was their chance to return the favour. They did not.

Positives! That top line of Matthew Tkachuk, Elias Lindholm, and Andrew Mangiapane was tremendous last night. They’ve been excellent since being put together and Lindholm is absolutely thriving at center. He hasn’t produced points to the same extent yet, but he’s playing so well and the points will come.

Mangiapane has been such a star for the team this season. He’s dynamic down low, plays big despite being a small, small man, and works so hard every shift. He’s a ton of fun to be around too (apparently) and is becoming an important part of the roster. He’s successfully passed Sam Bennett in the rotation as well, which is saying something for the former sixth rounder.

I would expect Cam Talbot to get the start in the Flames’ next game against the Dallas Stars on the weekend. They desperately need a win, and it’s not going to be easy on the road against a very strong Stars team.

The Gaud, the Bad, and the UGLy

Good: The Flames’ powerplay looked great last night and scored to give them the lead in the first. 1/1 on the night.

Bad: Three losses in a row. They may have picked up a point in this one, but the Pacific is tight and they need to get going fast.

Ugly: Everything past the 15:00 mark of the first period, especially the entire second period. Not sure why they stop playing the same game, but they still haven’t figured out how to play a full 60. It’s rough.

Next Game

Opponent: Dallas Stars
Record: 20-12-4
Standings: 3rd in the Central
Season Series: 1-1-0


Photo by: Terence Leung/NHLI

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